Microsoft announces dramatic changes to European business model
Company to radically reduce operations
REDMOND, Wash. – April 1, 2004 -- Microsoft Corp. today stated that it has determined that it’s best available legal recourse in its ongoing dispute with the European Union is to immediately suspend all of its European operations. As of April 1st 2004, Microsoft will no longer provide software to European markets. In addition, it is ceasing all business operations, and closing all of its European branches.
“Microsoft was looking forward to continuing the appeals process, but our legal advisors have informed us that shutting down in Europe is in Microsoft’s long term best interests”, Microsoft spokesman Dennis Andersen said.
"I’ll really miss my Italian roasted espresso," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. "but that’s just a part of what you have to pay for standing firm."
In addition, all support for Microsoft products will also cease as of that date. Customers with outstanding issues are urged to contact the European Union Antitrust Division, which has agreed to assume support responsibilities for Microsoft. European Anti-Trust commissioner Mario Monti said “It’s the least we could do to help the Microsoft consumers during the transition time between their current situation and when they are able to experience the liberating benefits of a competitive market”.
In a related announcement, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Bill Gates has announced that Microsoft will save an estimated $1,000,000,000 in costs because it no longer has to localize its products to the European languages. “We’re relieved that we can now remove support for French, German, and the other 32 European languages so we can concentrate on our growing markets in India and China”.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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